Community Gardens Development

Training Series

Community Gardens Development Training (CGDT) provides community residents with technical assistance, leadership training, horticulture education and start-up materials. This training ultimately helps to carry out the mission of the Civic Garden Center, extending the impact to a broad number of people in Cincinnati. This class is also a great resource for folks interested in becoming involved in an existing community garden or vegetable gardening at home. These classes are free of charge! Many classes are hands-on workshops. CGDT is sponsored in part by the Meshewa Farm Foundation.  For information on 2019 CGDT classes contact  Click here to complete an application for the series..



Gardening Healthy Traditions: Perspectives on Nutrition & Food Preparation

Wednesday, March 20th, 6-8pm
Instructor: Lisa C. Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, Owner/Nutrition Consultant Sound Bites Nutrition, LLC and Greg Potter
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Lisa Andrews will provide an overview about nutrition and eating a healthy diet among all of the food groups including whole foods, fruits and vegetables. The topics of growing, cooking, preserving, and eating healthy food will also be covered in this class. To register, click here.

Container Gardening:  Growing in Small Spaces

Tuesday, March 26th, 6-8pm
Instructor: Juliann B. Gardner, owner of One Small Garden
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Want to grow some of your own greens? Learn how to grow a little, using less in a short amount of time. Join us and learn how to grow a little bit of your own food, in limited spaces with limited resources. Juliann B. Gardner, an avid grower, foodie and owner of One Small Garden, will share general principles and techniques to grow your own edibles (herbs, greens and even tomatoes) nearly year round. Seeding, seasons, soils, and sun will all be discussed. Complimentary “food safe” compost and row markers will be shared. To register, click here.

Seed Starting and Thriving Garden Practices

Wednesday, March 27th, 6-8pm
Instructor: Greg Potter, Community Gardens Coordinator, Civic Garden Center
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Seed Starting: Learn the process of starting plants from seeds, indoors and out. Thriving Garden Practices: Learn about crop rotation, beneficial insects, weeding, mulching and more. To register, click here.

Perennials for Pollinator Diversity

Thursday, March 28th, 6-8pm
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

Have you ever wondered who the “pollinators” everyone is talking about are? While the European Honeybee or certain butterflies are the well-known pollinators, there are a number of insects and animals that fulfill this important role. This presentation takes a close look at the pollinating animals that are native to this region and some of the flowers that they have evolved with and attract them. Some of the topics covered will include: What exactly is pollination and what is involved?, Pollination Syndromes, Host plant vs Food plant, Perennial Flower Forms and Diversities for enhancing pollinator habitat, and of course a nice introduction to of some of our local pollinators and native flora. To register, click here.

Spring Ephemerals

Saturday, March 30, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Springtime in the forests of Southwest Ohio greets us with brief and sudden flashes of flowers. These flowers are collectively known as “spring ephemerals” because of their short bloom time. Taking advantage of early spring light, before being shaded by the leafing out of the deciduous canopy, these small flowers carpet the forest floor with hues of white, yellow and blue. Additionally, many of these spring ephemerals provided an important early season food source for insects limbering up from a cold winter. This class will introduce the participant to some of these early bloomers and provide information on their life histories, and cultivation in your woodland garden. This class is offered in partnership with Communiversity; class will be held a the Civic Garden Center.To register, click here.



Spring Walk & Talk

Tuesday, April 2nd, 6-8pm
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

Join a professional Horticulturist on a 1.5 hour hike and lecture in which he offers insight on local tree and plant ecology. You’ll gain specific I.D. tips for the native trees encountered on the hike, as well as an overview of their soil/topography/hydrology preferences within their niche. The hike & lecture will be held at Buttercup Valley in Parker Woods, Northside. To register, click here.

Rain Gardens

Thursday, April 4th, 6-8pm
Instructor: Kate Cook, Coordinator for Events and Outreach and Carriage House Farm, Certified Master Rain Gardener
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

In this class, attendees will learn about the basics of Rain Gardening and Rain Garden design. Emphasis will be on site observation, soil type identification and an overview of associated native botany. Discussion will include design tools and techniques, including Rain Catchment Systems (e.g. rain barrels) and their uses.  To register, click here.

Year of Living Sustainably Series: Resilience –Floods

Wednesday, April 10, 6:30-8 pm
Instructor: Liz Congleton, City of Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability
Cost: Free. Registrations required, call 513-221-0981.

Living with climate change means being prepared for more-intense-than-usual April showers. Fortunately, we’ve dedicated a month to helping people protect themselves and their property from flooding. This month, plant ‘May flowers’ in a rain garden or organize a neighborhood effort to keep storm drains clear. This conversation is part of an on-going 12 month series as part of the ‘Year of Living Sustainably’ campaign. Join us every month for discussion, tips, and resources on how to green your lifestyle. All are welcome!

Spring Backyard Composting

Thursday, April 11th, 6-8pm
Instructor: Kylie Johnson, CGC GLS Coordinator
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Do you want to start a compost pile but have no idea how to even begin? Come learn the basics about composting to get you started. This class is an excellent introduction to why we compost, different styles of composting, and how to compost.  To register, click here.


Tuesday, April 16th, 6-8pm
Instructor: Karen Brown
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
In this class you will learn about some of the less common herbs that can be grown in local gardens. The class will focus on perennials, and will include information on how these herbs grow, what soil conditions they prefer, how to care for them, and how to include them in your landscapes. While some information regarding the use of these herbs will be offered, the primary focus in this class will be landscape design concepts. To register, click here.

Flower Arrangements

Wednesday, April 17th, 6-8pm
Instructors: Christina Matthews & Ali Burns
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)

Have you wondered why some people seem to have a green thumb? Wouldn’t you love to grow beautiful flowers yourself and possibly even sell them? Well that opportunity is going to be available to you on April 17th from 6:00p.m.— 8:00p.m. at the Civic Garden Center. Join us for a fun night of flower growing and design talk!  Local school teacher and horticulturist, Alison Burns, along with Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden Coordinator and local flower farmer–florist, Christina Matthews, will be here to teach you step-by-step how to grow, harvest and sell stunning seasonal blooms! In addition to learning the basics, they will enlighten you with the benefits of flower gardening for the environment, as well biodiversity and self. To top things off, they will provide inspiration and instruction with regard to edible arrangements you can grow and design yourself! Hope to see you there!  To register, click here.

Smart Gardening

Saturday, April 20th, 10am-12pm
Instructor: Aprilann Pandora, Eden Urban Gardens, LLC.
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Want to learn how to work more efficiently in your garden, reducing wear & tear on your body? We’ll show you work smarter, not harder, covering how to maximize using the tools that make work lighter on your body. To register, click here.

Rain Barrel Workshop

Monday, April 22nd, 6-8pm
Instructor: Kate Cook, Carriage House Farm
Cost: $65 (includes barrel)
Location: Rhinegeist Brewery (1910 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202)
Interested in rainwater harvesting? Join the Civic Garden Center & Carriage House Farm for our first collaborative Rain Barrel Workshop at Rhinegeist this Earth Day! Using 55-gallon, heavy duty, recycled food grade drums donated by Rhinegeist, participants will learn how to make their own rain barrel to take home with them, all supplies provided. These barrels are approximately 24 inches wide and 36 inches tall, so participants should make sure to bring a vehicle that can transport the barrel home. Pre-registration is required. $65 for both the class & barrel (& supplies). Register on the Civic Garden Center’s website; space is limited. Please reach out with any questions you have by contacting us at  To register, click here.


Year of Living Sustainably Series: Food

Wednesday, May 8, 6:30-8 pm
Instructor: Liz Congleton, City of Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability & Greg Potter, CGC Community Gardens Coordinator
Cost: Free. Registrations required, call 513-221-0981.

One of the goals of the 2018 Green Cincinnati Plan is to make sure 100% of residents have convenient access to healthy, affordable food. Another is to shift Cincinnati’s diet toward healthier, planet-friendly plant-based foods. May is the perfect time to check out your local farmer’s market or lend a hand at your local community garden. Even kids love vegetables when they are fresh and well prepared. This conversation is part of an on-going 12 month series as part of the ‘Year of Living Sustainably’ campaign. Join us every month for discussion, tips, and resources on how to green your lifestyle. All are welcome!

Gardening with Deer

Tuesday, May 21st, 6-8pm
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
It’s one of the most frequently asked horticultural questions asked at the Civic Garden Center: How do you garden with the deer? To that end, Gardening with Deer addresses this question in a comprehensive way. First by understanding the creature’s biology and habits we can develop effective strategies to defend our gardens. We will then take a look at the impact deer have on our gardens and the local ecology. Lastly, we will discuss several strategies for defending against deer and native plant selections that resist deer herbivory. To register, click here.

Gifts from the Beehive

Saturday, May 25th, 10am-12pm
Instructor: Carisa Hund-Bunten
Cost: $20  Class is limited to 20 attendees
Gifts from the Hive Apothecary Kit- Using gifts from the hive such as honey, beeswax, and other natural treasures participants will make and take their very own hive inspired apothecary kit. Following an introductory level factoid session about beeswax and honey participants will make and take a pure beeswax candle, a botanically infused honey, and a healing beeswax gardener’s salve. This is a great way to celebrate the almighty bee, enjoy the Civic Garden Center’s observation hive and maybe even learn a new fact, trick of the trade or recipe! To register, click here.



Year of Living Sustainably Series: Resilience – Heat

Wednesday, June 12, 6:30-8 pm
Instructor: Liz Congleton, City of Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability
Cost: Free. Registrations required, call 513-221-0981.

Summer vacation might have you fantasizing about an island, but probably not an urban heat island. This June, work with OES to beat the heat and learn how to protect yourself from high temperatures. Many people don’t realize how dangerous a heatwave can be, but heat kills more people than all other natural disasters combined. With simple precautions, we can protect ourselves and our whole Cincinnati family. This conversation is part of an on-going 12 month series as part of the ‘Year of Living Sustainably’ campaign. Join us every month for discussion, tips, and resources on how to green your lifestyle. All are welcome!

Worm Bin Workshop

Thursday, June 13th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Instructor: Jenny Lohmann, Hamilton County Recycling & Solid Waste District
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers, children free with paying adult)

Worm bins are a great way to compost food and vegetable scraps year round! At this workshop you will learn how to set up your own DIY indoor composter, turn your food scraps into valuable fertilizer, harvest vermicompost, and separate worms for future use. If you’d like to purchase and assemble a bin of your own, we have a limited supply of red wiggler worms available for $20. Purchase these while registering. Worms must be ordered ahead of time. If you plan to make and take a worm bin, your order needs to be made no later than May 13th. To register, click here.



Creative Mindfulness

Saturday, July 6th, 10am-12pm
Instructor: Amy Tuttle, Imago
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)  Class is limited to 15 attendees
Spring is here and we’re busy, busy with garden planning and outdoor adventures! Join us for a lovely creative and reflective workshop in the gardens. We’ll enjoy a little self-care at a Saturday. To register, click here.


Master Composter Series

Prerequisite: Successful passage of pre-test (knowledge available during one of Civic Garden Center’s Basic Composting classes or Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District class)
Dates: August 1, 8, 15, 22, 9 am-3:30 pm
Cost: $45 per participant
Class size is limited to 30 attenddees . Registration is required.
Calling all garden gurus and environmental enthusiasts! Ready to get down and dirty? Enroll in our intensive Master Composter Training. You’ll learn the details of soil science, a variety of composting methods, and how to share your knowledge with our local community. 10 hours of classroom instruction will be complemented by 10 hours of field study, exposing participants to the vast wealth of composting resources in our area. Certificates will be awarded upon completion of 30 volunteer hours working in community gardens and education programs. Don’t miss your chance to join this unique opportunity. Spaces are limited and interested participants must submit proof of basic composting knowledge via a pre-test before they are considered for enrollment. To register, click here.